Frilled Lizard Frilled Dragon or Frilled Neck Lizard
Scientific Name: Chlamydosaurus kingii
The Frilled Lizard, also known as the Frilled Dragon and Frilled-Neck Lizard, lives in the northern parts of Australia. It is called by these names because of a ruff of skin which it keeps folded behind its head. When frightened the frilled lizard stands on its hind legs and opens its yellow and pink coloured mouth wide and ruffles out its colourful scaly red and yellow frill like an open umbrella. Sometimes it may also run on its hind legs towards its attackers hissing loudly trying to intimidate them. If this display of bravado doesn't scare its attacker, it usually turns tail and runs away at great speed. While quite harmless, it can bite if provoked.
The frilled lizard is about a meter in length and weights about half a kilo. Males and females look similar but the males is slightly larger than female. It usually camouflages itself by blending in with its environment. It lizard also used it frill to regulate its body temperature. Spreading it open in the early morning sunlight to quickly warm its body up. Frilled lizards can live up to 20 years.
The Frilled Lizard's Umbrella
The frilled neck ruff of the frilled lizard works very much like an umbrella. The large frill is supported by long spines made of cartilage which are attracted to its jaw bone. When the lizard opens its mouth it pushes these spines back forcing the ruff to spread out, just like and umbrella does.
Frilled Lizards are found in the warm temperate forests of the northern parts of Australia. They are arboreal tree-dwelling lizards. They descends occasionally to the ground to move from tree to tree or to feed.
Frilled Lizards are carnivorous. They hunt by lying in wait for prey to pass close by and then pounce on their victims. These lizards feed on insects such as spider, beetles, termites, cicadas, ants and on smaller lizards and mammals.
The Frilled Lizard breed around September and October. Female lays between 8 to 26 soft-shelled eggs in nests a 5-20 centimetres below ground in a sunny location. She then abandons the nest. The eggs incubate in about two and a half months. The gender of the baby lizards are partially determined by the temperature of their nest. If the temperature of the nest is too hot or cold then the brood will be exclusively female. If, on the other hand, the nest is within normal incubation temperatures then there will be equal numbers of male and female baby lizards.
Baby lizards hatch as fully functionally little lizards and live independently from the moment they hatch.
Frilled Lizards are not considered threatened or endangered.